Zanele's relationship with her mother became strained after she felt that her mother favoured her sister and took her side when they had arguments in the house.
Her attitude towards her mother and sister changed completely. She spent more time with her friends than her family.
"I felt that my mother did not love me and she did not care about me. To make sure that I did not have anything to do with my sister and mother, I decided to stop attending church services with them. The situation at home made me bitter and angry towards my mother and sister.
I started drinking alcohol with my new friends because I felt welcomed when I was with them. I felt I didn’t need my family," she said.
Zanele recalled a near-death incident that prompted her to change her life.
"We had a pool party with my friends and we were all drunk. I slipped and fell into the swimming pool. I could not swim to save myself because I was too drunk. Some people there jumped in and saved me. I was so shocked by the incident that I became sober immediately after I was rescued. I realised how I nearly died while I did not have a relationship with God.
I understood that I had been wrong all that time and I went back to my mother and confessed about my drinking. I also told her how I felt about her and my sister. I thought she was going to be mad at me, but instead she affirmed her love for me and encouraged me to go back to God. I also apologised to my sister for my bad behaviour. I re-committed my life to God, stopped drinking and left my drinking friends. That gave me the inner peace I didn’t have for a long time. My family and I have a close relationship and I have communion with God," she said.